Stepping Out of a Shadow: finding what brings me joy


When I was in high school I made a vow to myself that I was going to be real with people. Not phony or fake, even if that meant I was tired, sad, awkward, happy, giddy, or so on. I’m not sure that I have always kept that vow, I don’t think I have been fake, but I also don’t often put all of my cards on the table. Well here it is, I’m about to put all of my cards out on the table.

For those of you who have dealt with anxiety or depression know how much it sucks. Eight months after Benjamin was born I realized I had been dealing with postpartum anxiety, which meant panic attacks, hypochondria, and crippling worries and fears. When I realized what it was, I was ready to deal with it, when I discovered I was pregnant with Gilbert. But the pregnancy masked the anxiety. So after Gilbert was born the anxiety resurfaced. I decided to go to therapy and deal with where my anxiety was coming from. It’s a hard process, but I am learning a lot about myself and understanding why I am the way I am.

I am a little sister. I had no idea how much that title has impacted me and where I am today. When you are a little sister, all you want to be is your big sister. My younger niece even said it herself. She told her mom she would use the potty when she was “Addy” (her big sister). As the baby sister you admire your older sister because she can do things you can’t. Because you want to be like here, growing up you often start to make the same choices as your sister . For kids, I think that is totally normal. But as you get older you (or me) can get stuck in that routine. As I got older I continued to make similar decisions as my sister. This is not a bad thing, because my sister made good decisions. But the danger is I was making decisions to be like her, rather than be like me. My sister was a swimmer, I became a swimmer. My sister went to Western, I went to Western. My sister was a Young Life Leader, I was a Young Life Leader. My sister became a teacher, I became a teacher. This is okay, because these choices brought me to where I am today. But the more I thought about this the more I realized everything I tried new or different, I ended up quitting or not trying. I quit soccer, choir, water polo, and declined a ministry internship after college. I was afraid to commit to new things because they were so unfamiliar. By doing that I was denying the opportunity to find myself, my niche, and doing what brought me pure and utter joy.

Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching. I am a good teacher. But every day in the classroom I feel a longing to do something else, something more creative. And it wasn’t until taking a year off and going to therapy did I find myself trying to tackle that longing. Little had I realized the with that longing, I was trying to find myself and what gave me joy.

Ever since I found out I was pregnant with Gilbert I feel like God has been in the midst of transforming me and helping me to find the person I am. It has certainly not been easy, but at the same time, it has been amazing.

It seems to me that God has placed photography in my lap. That’s another story I will share later. But when ever I pick up my camera I feel so much joy. After I shot my cousin’s wedding I was a on a high for days. This week I left my camera at a friend’s house and I felt as if my arm was missing. So I am putting it out there, I am sharing it with my little blog/facebook people. Even as I write these words fear sets in keeping me from getting to the point. Here it goes…I have a deep desire to pursue photography as something more than a hobby. There, I said it. I know I have more to learn and more equipment to acquire and much confidence building to do. These I things I’ve told myself to scare me and keep me from sharing these dreams and ideas. But if I don’t say it out loud, the fears will take over.

So…I am stepping out of a shadow and seeking something that brings me so much joy. And now you know my dream. I don’t know what will happen, but there it is. I love photography and I want it to be a bigger part of my life.

I will say one more thing. Which is probably the thing I feel most nervous about since I HATE putting myself out there. If you are interested in having me take your picture or you family’s or friend’s or baby’s or you have a special event for a very LOW cost, let me know via my blog or Facebook. I am chomping at the bit to practice, improve and learn.

Thank you for reading all the way through and letting me be real with you.

One thought on “Stepping Out of a Shadow: finding what brings me joy

  1. Made me cry Em, so honest and so true. It’s wonderful how you are working your way thru it in a really positive, motivational way. Very generous of you to share your feelings and experience, it will help us all. Thank you, Love you

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